Exercising and yoga have both been around for centuries due to their benefits for your mental and physical health. Not only are they useful for getting healthier and longer sleep, but they can also work wonders against various lung issues, back pain, and headaches.
We at Bright Side gathered a list of 7 cures for your sleepless and painful nights.
Plow pose, or Halasana, is magical when it comes to improving your spine’s flexibility and back health. It stretches every single part of your body while helping you calm your mind before getting ready to go to sleep.
Lying on your back, rest your arms beside your stomach. Inhale and put your feet up until they’re at a 90-degree angle. You need to support your hips while you’re lifting your body so as not to damage your lower back.
Continue moving your feet up until they’re shadowing your head and then lower them onto the floor beyond your head. Lift your thighs and tailbone. Create space between your chin and your chest.
The wheel pose, or Urdhva Dhanurasana, will boost your spirit so effortlessly, you’ll have great dreams at night. It stretches your spine, abdomen, and neck and helps with blood circulation, filling your mind with positives thoughts, and opening up your lungs for deeper inhalation.
The pose begins in the position of lying on your back with your heels connected together (shava mudra). Raise your straight leg at a 90-degree angle and rest your hands behind your head without lifting them off the ground which is extremely important for full chest opening. While smoothly and slowly rounding the spine, move your legs in the direction of your palms, rounding the back, and putting the tips of your toes in the middle of your palms.
Folding your back is essential to strengthening your spine and keeping the blood flowing to your brain so that your mind is free of stressful thoughts before bed.
Stand straight with your feet in line with your shoulders. Take a deep breath and stretch upward, then breathe out and relax the muscles of your back and neck and lower your spine. Your neck and your arms should be free of any movement. Feel how each one of your back muscles stretches under your weight.
Hold this position for 3 or 4 breaths. Get back into your previous position, straightening your spine.
The dolphin pose is one of the most calming poses in yoga as you can effortlessly master it to strengthen your core and spine and even out your breath before sleep.
Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your forearms on the floor with your shoulders directly above your wrists. Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor.
At first, keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Hold your head between your upper arms; don’t let it hang or press heavily against the floor. You can straighten your knees if you like, but it’s best to keep them bent if your upper back rounds.
Half Cobra Grasshopper
Invented by the amazing Cassey Ho, this stretching exercise does wonders for your core, abdomen, thighs, and spine. It’s also great for your lungs as it opens them up and helps you to inhale deeper.
Get into a cobra pose and put your feet together behind you. Then, lower your upper body while lifting your connected feet. Afterward, lower your feet and push yourself up slowly with your straightened arms. You can see Cassey do it here.
Viparita Karani, or “legs-up-the-wall pose”, has always been one of the most relaxing and calming poses. It restores your strength, improves your inner stability, relieves stress, and prepares the mind for a peaceful night. You can watch a video on how to master this pose here.
For this pose you need to lie on your back and put your feet on the wall using it as support. Then, raise your pelvis to the desired level (you can use rolled towels placed under the waist). If the lower torso is hard to lift, you can leave only the legs raised.
Full Core Stretching
One of the most crucial things when stretching your back is to not forget about your core. When your whole body is stretched and your spirit is lifted, even the worst of headaches will flee. Here, the cobra pose can help you out perfectly. This exercise is also tremendous for your lungs as it opens them up for easier breathing.
Lay on your stomach and stretch your feet as far away as you can. Press your shoulders into your body and put your forearms on the floor. Slowly lift your body off the floor and straighten your arms.
We hope that these poses and exercises will help you obtain the most wonderful dreams and a state of total relaxation. Be sure to do a quick warm-up before you begin so your body feels at ease with every pose.
Let us know more exercises that work for you in the comments section below!
Illustrated by Natalia Tylosova for Bright Side